In 2019, Dallas-Fort Worth made headlines as the second-busiest building market in the country, with almost $22.5 billion in construction. At the time, only New York City had more residential and nonresidential construction, according to statistics from Dodge Data & Analytics. Houston ranked third nationally for construction starts at $18.7 billion, with Austin coming in 11th place with $12.3 billion.
As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to expert predictions that these figures would continue to rise, and even as the sector begins to show signs of recovery, the weaker economy has seen projects continue to be delayed or canceled.
Encouragingly, it is projected that the Texas construction industry will rebound a lot faster than it did following the 2008 recession. Compared to the previous 10-year recovery, the sector is expected to return to 2019 levels of activity in approximately three to four years.
In Central Texas, homebuilding has continued to thrive in the face of the outbreak, with new home starts up 17% in the 12 months that ended in September, according to industry research firm Zonda. Additionally, research from Dodge Data & Analytics revealed that San Antonio shows the most growth with a 10% year-to-date gain for building construction, primarily built on the strength of single-family activity.
Data gathered by construction software firm Procore Technologies found that Dallas had the most significant rebound in construction among the eight largest markets at 15% up in May. To support this data and despite only 30% of the metro areas seeing an increase in construction employment during the last 12 months, Dallas added 7,100 jobs since October 2019 - more than any other US metro area, according to government data released by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Speaking to REjournals, Dan Pomfrett, vice president of forecasting and analytics at project and cost management company Cumming, said: “Overall, our view of the Texas market is a positive one. There will be some peaks and troughs, which will be both region- and sector-specific, with burgeoning sectors such as tech and biopharm becoming more prominent. The key to the successful bounce-back of the region will be the availability of skilled labor.”
As with most states, the pandemic has decreased worker productivity in Texas due to social distancing guidelines and increased materials prices from disrupted supply chains. This, coupled with the US-wide skills shortages discussed in our previous post, highlights the need for Texan organizations to prioritize talent efforts in 2021 to ensure a rapid market recovery.
PRS in Texas
PRS is a leading expert in professional built environment recruitment services. Having developed a strong track record for placing exceptional Field, Project Management, and Pre-Construction talent into businesses worldwide, we have established a new division to exclusively serve the US market.
Operating in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, PRS USA is actively recruiting for public and private sector roles to help our clients complete a series of high-profile construction projects. For more information about how we can help secure a position or find the right professional, contact Chris McCay on 281.779.4186 or email Chris.McCay@prsjobs.com.